...but less so is Sybil pointing out that Branson never told her about the meetings, and he replies that he never said he didn't go to them, an argument so weak it's just lucky it's supported by Branson's tight shirt and pajama bottoms. He tells Sybil he can't stay, but she tells him he has to -- they all do. "I will not be free with our child's chances." She tells him they need the peace and safety Downton can offer them, but although he kisses her, the ensuing look on her face suggests she knows this isn't resolved.
Oh, boy, the Indigno-Meter is getting an early workout today, as at the breakfast table, Lord Grantham cries out, "God in Heaven," and I wonder how the man upstairs feels about Lord Grantham's continual offended summons. He continues: "Earl's daughter speaks out for women's rights," but Edith is delighted to hear that her letter denouncing "the government's aims to return women to their prewar existence" was published and gloats that Lord Grantham predicted it wouldn't be printed. Matthew's all "Good show" about it, and when Lord Grantham indignantly (surprise) asks if he supports her, Matthew pish-poshes him: "Of course I support her, and so do you, really... when you've had a chance to think about it." Heh. Branson chimes in his support, getting a dissenting grunt from Carson, but nothing's raining on Edith's parade today.
Downstairs, Mrs. Hughes finds Anna and happily gives her a stack of letters, inquiring if they're from Bates. The answer is yes and Anna can barely contain her excitement as she rushes off to read them. I suppose she's also happy about what the arrival of the letters represents, which is good because otherwise I'd have to be rather uncharitable in predicting that his turgid prose shouldn't quite merit this reaction.
Downstairs, Alfred finds Daisy and thanks her for her support the night before. She tells him, truthfully enough, that it won't make any difference, but he says it's just nice to have her on his side. This prompts her to screw up her courage and tell him she fancies him, but before she can get past the awkward preamble, Mrs. Patmore bustles in with a pretty enough thing, "Miss Ivy Stewart," in tow. Alfred takes one look at her and looks like... well, like all the women did when Jimmy James turned up. Mrs. Patmore, of course, thinks that this is the best news ever for Daisy and it's kind of touching how proudly she introduces Daisy as "my assistant cook," but the moment's taste has turned to ashes for Daisy, and after Mrs. Patmore shoos Alfred's horny ass away, Ivy approaches Daisy and smiles that she hopes they're going to get on. Daisy, however, tells her they don't need to get on, just to work together, proving that there's nothing like a little heartbreak to get someone to grow up. THANK GOD.